Hurricanes 7, Senators 1

Eric Staal took care of a career milestone and, for a change,

put the Carolina Hurricanes on the other side of a blowout.

Staal had three goals, including the 200th of his career, and

two assists in the Hurricanes’ 7-1 victory over the heavy-hearted

Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.

Chad LaRose added two goals and two assists, Tim Gleason had a

goal and an assist and Tuomo Ruutu also scored for the Hurricanes,

who put up four goals in the first period against Brian

Elliott.

Cam Ward made 23 saves for Carolina. Reeling after consecutive

lopsided losses to Philadelphia and at Montreal by a combined 15-3,

the Hurricanes shook up the roster a few hours before the puck

dropped by trading two regulars to Calgary.

”We weren’t happy with our last two games, we came out ready to

play and they looked like a team with a lot on their mind,” Staal

said.

And understandably so. The one-sided outcome provided a

difficult conclusion to an emotionally draining day for the

Senators.

The team delayed its trip to attend a memorial service earlier

in the day in Ottawa for the 14-year-old daughter of assistant

coach Luke Richardson, who committed suicide on Friday. The

Senators didn’t arrive in Raleigh until Wednesday afternoon.

”We went through a lot today,” defenseman Chris Phillips said,

”and couldn’t get the job done.”

Daniel Alfredsson scored late for the Senators, who lost their

second straight. Elliott stopped just 12 shots in fewer than 17

minutes before he was pulled for Pascal Leclaire, who made nine

saves but allowed three goals.

”It was pretty much the worst-case scenario,” Phillips said.

”We wanted to win this game for so many reasons. A couple early

mistakes and lost battles, and before we knew it, we were down

4-0.”

Carolina wanted this one badly, too, for a much different

reason.

General manager Jim Rutherford told reporters before the game

that the Hurricanes ”were embarrassed” by those no-show

performances last week. Before the game, they announced the trade

of forward Tom Kostopoulos and defenseman Anton Babchuk to the

Flames in exchange for defenseman Ian White and forward Brett

Sutter.

”When you go through the two games that we went through, you

certainly open the doors for things to happen,” coach Paul Maurice

said. ”But I don’t think this happened in a 24-hour or 48-hour

period.”

Whether it was that shakeup, or simply having four days to dwell

on those defeats, the Hurricanes all but put this one out of reach

before the first intermission.

Gleason struck first for Carolina 4 1/2 minutes in, taking a

feed from LaRose while skating into the left circle and snapping

the puck past Elliott.

Then, Staal took over.

The team leader with nine goals and 22 points scored twice on

the power play in the first period, then added his third goal in

the third.

Career goal No. 200 came with 9:19 left in the first when he

took a pass from Jussi Jokinen on the back line and stuffed it past

Elliott.

Then he scored again with just under 4 minutes left before the

first break, slipping in the rebound of Jokinen’s slap shot to

stretch it to 3-0. Staal finished off his 11th career hat trick on

a rush with 6:16 to play.

”Hoping to have a lot more than 200,” Staal said. ”Obviously,

(it was) a great honor for me, and I’m fortunate to be on the right

end of some very good plays tonight, some very good passes.”

LaRose’s first goal of the game came with 3:14 left in the first

when he chipped in a rebound to make it 4-0. That chased Elliott,

and by that point, the Hurricanes had as many goals as the Senators

had shots on goal. LaRose added his second goal 86 seconds into the

third to make it 5-0.

Notes: Jokinen and LW Sergei Samsonov had two assists apiece for

Carolina. … Staal also was stopped on two short-handed

breakaways, once by each Ottawa goalie. … Another of Carolina’s

newest acquisitions, RW Troy Bodie, was scratched. The Hurricanes

claimed him on waivers from Anaheim a day earlier. … Ottawa D

Matt Carkner traded punches late in the first with Hurricanes D Jay

Harrison.